Anxiety is one of our body’s natural responses to stress. The pressures brought on by negative or harmful feelings come from many different aspects of our daily lives. Increased workload, financial worries or an argument with friends or family can all be contributing factors to feelings of anxiety and stress.
So how do we tackle these negative feelings?
There are many effective ways to build positive thought processes and reduce feelings of unrest which you can use daily. Grounding techniques in particular allow us to reconnect with our present self. They play a vital role in helping to separate ourselves from distressful and emotional situations.
How can physical grounding techniques help?
These grounding techniques serve as simple remedies to stay focused and anchored in the present moment. Light stretches for example will give your body a chance to really breath. ‘Boxed Breathing’ -in which you breath in for four seconds, hold for four and then breath out for four seconds- will clear the mind and stay centered in the moment.
We suggest trying this simple exercise to engage your senses. Identify five objects, four different sounds, three textures and one taste. This ‘5-4-3-2-1 exercise’ has been proven to help you reach awareness of the present as well as the sensations of your body. Furthermore, physical ground- ing techniques, such as exercise, are an effective way to get back in touch with your body.
These cognitive grounding techniques can be mindful distractions
The modern world has far too many distractions – it’s all too easy for your mind to feel over- whelmed with information, decisions and tasks. These obstructions can mindfully distract us from returning to the present.
Cognitive grounding techniques includes positive distractions such as listening to music, watching TV, or drawing. Talking to a friend or loved one is a great distraction and one that also draws out our more social side. Finally, distractions like interacting with a pet are also positive and can help keep us calm. Just be mindful to eventually return to the issue that’s causing you to feel anxiety or stressed and address it, rather than attempt to suppress it.
When is the best time to practice these grounding techniques?
Grounding techniques are effective ways to tackle feelings of anxiety when one is feeling overwhelmed. But it is also a good idea to practice them when you’re calm and composed, as it’ll allow your body and mind to be more prepared and be in a better position to tackle any upcoming challenges.
Try focusing on your breathing throughout the day, even when you’re not feeling anxious. Breathing helps strengthen mindful muscles, so that next time you feel anxious or stressed you are better equipped to handle it.
Anxiety Disorders can be treated through psychotherapy, medication or both. Psychotherapy or talk therapy can help, however to be effective it must be tailored to the specific needs of the person. Cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT is an evidence based approach that teaches a person to think, behave and feel differently towards anxiety provoking situations.
To find out how Dr Jeremy Alford can help, why not book an initial FREE online consultation? Send an email to: